Valentine’s Day is lots of fun, but why reserve the romance for just one day of the year? It’s so easy to make your daily life more romantic just by adding a few special touches to your decorating. Here are a few ideas to inspire you.

Harness the Power of Flowers

Flowers aren’t just for Valentine’s Day! So treat yourself to a lovely bouquet of cash-and-carry flowers every time you’re at the grocery store, whether it’s a bundle of sweetheart roses or a mixed arrangement.

One of my favorite ways to use these inexpensive grocery store bouquets is to separate out the flowers, trim the stems of each very short and place a few blooms apiece in several small vases. Tuck the little bouquets into unexpected places, like on a bookshelf display, on your kitchen windowsill or counter, next to your nightstand or on your dining table.

Make Everyday Dining a Treat

Even if tonight’s fare is pot roast or meatloaf, your daily dinners don’t have to be ho-hum. Make midweek dinner a delight by adding a few romantic touches to your table. If you’re in the mood to go big, surprise your family by pulling out the china, silver and crystal. Or, just add a lovely serving piece here and there. Put your table water in a fine glass decanter with matching glasses. Or, pop the cork on a bottle of bubbly and serve it chilled in a lovely silver ice bucket.

Indulge in Sensuous Art

I love to use discreet nudes in my decorating, especially in private spaces like an upstairs bathroom or bedroom. My favorites are those that leave lots to the imagination, like the minimalist modern painting pictured above.

Trim Your Bed in Romance

Spoil yourself with beautiful sheets trimmed in lace. Shop the white sales for a lovely set, or if you’re crafty, get some plain white sheets and embellish them yourself with ribbons, lace or whatever fanciful trim your imagination can dream up. I know it sounds like a small thing, but when you head to bed after a long, hard day, and you see those lovely linens waiting for you, you feel like a princess.

Make Your Daily Routines Special

Isn’t it wonderful to stay at an upscale hotel or quaint bed and breakfast where they serve your morning coffee from a silver carafe? You can do the same thing at home! Instead of heading to the coffee pot and filling up that stained and chipped coffee mug you’ve used for years, make your morning caffeine ritual special. Pour the pot of coffee into a stylish urn. Purge your cupboard of every ugly mug you own, and instead sip from a darling china cup. Instead of pulling packs of sugar or sweetener straight from the box or pouring your creamer from the carton in the fridge, dig out that wonderful cream and sugar set you have buried back in your cupboard and put them to use every day.

Celebrate the People You Love

Raise your hand if you have hundreds of wonderful photos of your loved ones stored on your camera’s memory card, in your computer or on a disc. This week, resolve to print your favorites and display them in your home in lovely frames. Tuck one on your bedside table, another on a shelf in your kitchen and another on your desk at work.

Make Tasks Less Tedious by Using Pretty Containers

No one likes to do the dishes. But it’s more fun when you keep your dish soap in a pretty decanter, like the one pictured above. A friend of mine used this idea to turn her laundry room, of all places, into a showplace. She put her liquid fabric softener in a crystal decanter and her powdered soap in an apothecary jar, using a silver scoop to measure it out. She placed both containers on top of her washer on a lovely silver tray. I’ve done something similar with my cats’ food – I store the cat chow on my kitchen counter in a pretty glass jar. I’ve even taken this idea one step further by feeding these spoiled kitties in adorable blue and white china pet food bowls on a silver tray. The cats don’t care a fig about how their food is served, but it sure makes my kitchen look nicer to have their chow displayed in such a fun fashion.

In addition, if you like to keep functional things  like tissues out in view, make them more attractive by covering them with a pretty tissue box cover like the one in the snapshot above. Place your bottles of cooking oil or vinegars in a galvanized tin container or English footbath. Stow your pile of mail in a pretty bowl until you have time to deal with it.

Next Week … Got the winter blues? Combat them by using my favorite color (you guessed it!), blue, in your decorating. I’ll show you how!

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24 Responses to “Add Everyday Romance to Your Home”

  1. Polly Duryea Says:

    Lovely ideas. Many thanks, P

  2. Robyn Cooper Says:

    I feel so relieved that you enjoy discreet nudes in your bedroom decor! I love that and felt guilty because of it! Thank you so much! Plus…….I have been to the Atchison store a few times, but for Valentine’s Day my husband is taking me to the Raphael on the Plaza and to your new store in Briarcliff! I am so excited!
    Blessings to you!

  3. linda d murphy Says:

    Not only are your little decantors great for soap, they are awesome filled with mouthwash or syrups!!! Actually even bar ware decantors work as well for all that stuff. You know the beautiful crystal ones. A differant twist..

  4. Millie Armato Says:

    On these cold winter nights I’ve been closing the shutters, lighting a candle, setting the table in placemats and cloth napkins and using a different set of dishes to go with the food. It has made our evening meal warm and cozy. I am 75 and my husband is 82……..we still like cozy intimate dinners.

  5. Beth Schaefer Says:

    My husband & I visited your shop in Briarcliff yesterday! We had a wonderful time shopping with Delores! It is always fun to see what you have on display!

  6. Babs Stilley Says:

    Millie is my new Role Model! What a lovely woman and I have never met her!

  7. Nancy Thompson Says:

    Could you tell me if the blue goblets in the above picture for Valentine’s Day are in your shop. If so, what is the price on these beautiful glassware? Also do they come in Amber color? Thank you,
    Nancy Thompson

  8. Mary Carol Says:

    Robyn–How fun! Make sure you say hello when you come to Briarcliff.

  9. Mary Carol Says:

    Millie–I adore your comment, how beautiful!

  10. Carol Says:

    Way to go Millie. You made my day here in Michigan’s gloom. What an inspiration. God bless!

  11. Pat Warner Says:

    Sure do love your suggestions – make everything sound so simple and easy to accomplish! Thanks for being YOU! Happy Valentine’s Day!

  12. Alice J Molisani Says:

    IAfter reading your message to us I feel totally inspired……especially ready to make my utility room a “special place” for me to do the work that needs to be done. I have several lovely pieces of crystal stored in my basement that will work their magic ..the same kind of things your friend has used. Now for the paint, the wallpaper and the energy….but each time you write, I get busy. You are inspirational. Happy Valentines Day!!!!

  13. Mary Carol Says:

    Nancy–Those lovely crystal goblets are $15.75 a piece–unfortunately, they are not available in amber.

  14. Billie Houston Says:

    You’r always in my Heart. lot of love. Billie

  15. Lynn Says:

    Do you sell the beautiful blue goblets and square toile dishes???

  16. Penny Says:

    Great ideas – What is the color used behind the nude print and black and white striped head board. I want to re-do my bedroom in black and gray. I think this might work for my walls.

  17. Joi Says:

    Penny, I believe that is the color “Peony” from her artisan line. If you look at her previous blogpost, you’ll notice a small shot of the room there…
    And Millie – you are an inspiration to us all!

  18. Jan Says:

    Well now – I am thoroughly refreshed by your “make your home your castle” suggetions. – I’m going to implement some of them today. I have the winter doldrums and am looking forward to adding some zest to the upcoming cold February days…and within my budget too!
    Many Thanks!
    p.s. I can hardly wait to visit you new store in Kansas City with my daughter.

  19. Suzy Laird Says:

    I use pretty tissue holders wherever they are useful, but I use a smallish crystal rose bowl on my nightstand to hold tissues. Just take them out of a square tissue box and they will dispense right from the bowl. I have sometimes used this trick in a bathroom in a grouping with a larger similar rose bowl full of flowers and a smaller one with varying contents.

  20. Bridget Says:

    Suzy, I love your idea! I am definitely borrowing that one! I love the nude, and have been eyeing it on the past couple posts.

  21. Christina Serrano Says:

    Mary Carrol,

    I love all of your books and your great decorating idea. I always enjoy reading your tips. Thanks for the inspiration.

    Take care,


  22. Del Ary Says:

    Love your ideas and can’t wait for next time because blue is also my favorite color…..blue and white! Timeless and Fabulous! Thanks so much. Del

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